We report powder and single-crystal neutron diffraction measurements of the magnetic order in AMnBi2 (A =Sr and Ca), two layered manganese pnictides with anisotropic Dirac fermions on a Bi square net. Both materials are found to order at TN≈300 K in k =0 antiferromagnetic structures, with ordered Mn moments at T =10 K of approximately 3.8 μB aligned along the c axis. The magnetic structures are Néel type within the Mn-Bi layers, but the interlayer ordering is different, being antiferromagnetic in SrMnBi2 and ferromagnetic in CaMnBi2. This allows a mean-field coupling of the magnetic order to Bi electrons in CaMnBi2 but not in SrMnBi2. We find clear evidence that magnetic order influences electrical transport. First-principles calculations explain the experimental observations and suggest that the mechanism for different interlayer ordering in the two compounds is the competition between the antiferromagnetic superexchange and ferromagnetic double exchange carried by itinerant Bi electrons.
Physical Review B
- Pub Date:
- August 2014
- Other inorganic compounds;
- Magnetic anisotropy;
- Condensed Matter - Strongly Correlated Electrons
- Accepted for publication in Physical Review B. Version 2 includes additional sample characterisation and bulk measurements, and ab initio electronic structure calculations